This year Festival Accès Asie celebrates its 16th year! Sixteen years of celebrating the month of May, officially named as Asian Heritage Month. Sixteen years showcasing the diversity of the multicultural communities in Montreal, Quebec and the rest of Canada.
To launch this year’s Festival, Director Janet Lumb and team invite you to the maison de la culture Plateau Mont-Royal from 5 pm to 7 pm on May 6th, 2011. Enjoy the paintings by Quebec artist Michel Beaucage and Chinese artist Nie Jian Bing, in the kick-off of the exhibition Rencontres : zìshì. Michel Beaucage, who hails from Montreal and Nie Jian Bing, from Nanjing in China and who has lived in Montreal for a little less than ten years, will reveal their undeniable talent in this exhibition.
Presented by the Festival and held until June 12th and, according to curator Nathalie Parent, Rencontres : zìshì seeks « exchange between two artists’ works from different cultures which challenge the viewer to experience an interaction between East and West. While two different styles, one more figurative and the other more abstract, the exhibition will highlight the similarities between the two painters ». Graduated in art history, Nathalie Parent is very interested by the influences of cultures in the art creation of the artists and how both are linked. Over the past few years, thanks to her work as a curator, she has collaborated in introducing many new contemporary art works enhancing the artistic scene and culture of Quebec.
You will also have the pleasure of a performance by the musician Chih-Lin Chou, the sounds of her Guzheng, a Chinese zither that will move you, just as the works of Michel Beaucage and Nie Jian Bing, between East and West. For the Festival opening, Chih-Lin Chou will perform “High Mountain & Flowing Water”, which will be followed by improvisation that is inspired by nature.
Nie Jian Bing was born in Nanjing, China in 1968. He studied art in France and now resides in Montreal. He has had numerous exhibitions in France, the United States, Canada and China. In devoting more time to his doctoral studies in the arts, Nie Jian Bing continues to exhibit his works worldwide.
At this opening exhibition, Nie Jian Bing will present paintings featuring portraits of celebrities, public figures and politicians (e.g. John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Barack Obama, etc.) or reproduced works by ancient masters vital points with painted Chinese characters that can be combined with text prescriptions. These combinations prompt the public to question images in our society. Who is the model? What are the elements and who are the characters which shape history? Living in multi-ethnic societies, the artist is confronted by his ethnic origins and then by his point of view of religion, values, traditions, etc.. that develops into new and specific other images, models and heroes.
Michel Beaucage exhibits his paintings not only in Montreal, the city where he was born in 1958 but he has also had solo exhibitions in the United States and Shanghai, in China. He has also taken part in group shows which led him to New York, Beijing and Ljubljana. In his works, the play of abstraction and figuration evoke nature, artistic movements and Eastern styles. The opening exhibition will present works which reference Asian culture (such as Dragon, the Group of Eight Yangzhou Eccentrics) but gesture to American culture (such as action painting).
In his later works, Michel Beaucage created movement as a central theme, and movement as a gestural expression that becomes calligraphy which is consistent with Chinese composition. Having made various visits to Asia, he is not a stranger to this style of expression. A new aspect, which betrays his influences is the choice of a particular technique of using rice paper as a support with Chinese acrylic and ink. Ties that connect Western gestural abstractions sources and “images” and put into space of inspiration of the Far East, Michel Beaucage earned a recognition, as well as participation in exhibitions in China (BIAB 2005, 2008 and 2010, Beijing, High Noon Art & Culture Center, Shanghai).
Born in Taiwan, Chinese-Canadian Chih-Lin Chou is a musician of the Guzheng, a Chinese zither with 21 strings. She is also the Artistic Director of DMFS (Canadian Association of Oriental Fine Arts), founded in 2005 and GZEM (Gu Zheng Ensemble of Montreal) founded a few years earlier in 2002. In the past ten years, thanks to concerts in the region of Montreal and Ottawa, Chih Lin Chou has contributed to a greater awareness and dissemination of traditional music culture and contemporary China, through her virtuoso Guzheng performances.
Nie Jian Bing – Painter
Michel Beaucage – Painter
Chih-Lin Chou – Musician